Family Law Matters We Handle
Divorce: Ending a marriage is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. It is almost always a last-resort option for people, which is why our family lawyer will ensure you are confident in your decision to file for a divorce before we help you do so. We don’t question the integrity of our clients but rather ensure they are fully aware of the immediate and long-term impacts of their decision from a legal perspective. Nonetheless, whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, you can count on us to protect your rights and champion your goals from start to finish.
Child custody: A divorce can get complicated when children are involved. You must juggle the best interests of yourself and your children without interfering with your soon-to-be ex’s agenda, therefore it is imperative to hire a lawyer who is an assertive, strategic negotiator. Our Memphis family attorney is well-known for litigating child custody matters successfully, as he has proven his ability to devise mutually beneficial solutions that are fair to all parties involved.
Child support: When a parent gets full custody of a child, a family court judge will often order the noncustodial parent to pay monthly payments called child support. Child support covers the child’s basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education. While it may seem straightforward, the reality is that custodial parents usually feel as though they’re receiving too little while noncustodial parents feel like they’re paying too much. As such, we help both custodial and noncustodial parents reach agreements that help fulfill their goals, whether it be getting more child support or paying less.
Alimony: Also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, alimony is a payment made by one spouse to another. The State of Tennessee recognizes four types of alimony, which include:
- Rehabilitative alimony: This is a separate class of spousal support that ends upon the death of the payor or receiver, and may be increased, decreased, terminated, extended, or otherwise modified if a judge determines there is a substantial and material change in circumstances. For background, Tennessee family courts define rehabilitation as achieving, with reasonable effort, an earning capacity that will allow the economically disadvantaged spouse’s standard of living to reasonably compare to the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage or post-divorce standard of living that the higher-earning spouse may experience
- Transitional alimony: This refers to a sum of money payable by one party to the other for a certain period of time. It is awarded when a judge determines that rehabilitation isn’t needed but the economically disadvantaged spouse needs financial assistance while adjusting to the economic consequences of divorce.
- Alimony in futuro: Also known as periodic alimony, alimony in futuro is “a payment of support and maintenance on a long term basis or until death or remarriage of the recipient.” If a judge finds that one spouse has a relative economic disadvantage compared to the other spouse and is unable to achieve an earning capacity that will support the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, they may require alimony in futuro.
- Alimony in solido: Also known as lump sum money, alimony in solido is a form of long-term financial support that may be paid in installments over a period of time. It may include attorney fees, where appropriate.
Equitable distribution: Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, meaning divorcing couples must separate and distribute marital property fairly. Martial property often includes debts, pension, and retirement plans, stocks, real estate, cars, valuables, and pets. Equitable distribution does not mean equal, however. What seems fair to one spouse may not seem fair to the other, which is why our family lawyer will work to help both parties find a “common ground.”
Visitation: If you are a noncustodial biological parent looking to be involved in your child’s life, you have options. It is important to children’s growth and development to maintain close ties and strong relationships with their loved ones, especially if their parents are divorced, therefore our Memphis family attorneywill help you file a petition for visitation rights.
Enforcement of custody/support orders: During a divorce, you and your spouse reach several agreements relating to matters such as child custody and support, for example. When one spouse does not adhere to the rules outlined in those agreements, however, legal enforcement may be required. While some spouses who “break the rules” do so intentionally, others may have done so accidentally. In either case, we will help you file a petition for contempt of court, which may result in fines and jail time for the non-compliant party.
Modification of custody/support orders: Circumstances in life change, requiring a modification of child custody and/or support orders. Whether you expected a change in circumstances or not, you have the option to request a modification to your child custody or support orders as needed. A family court judge will only grant a modification if the change in circumstances materially affects the child’s wellbeing and a modification is in the child’s best interests. Examples include:
- Moving out of state
- Losing your job
- Substance and alcohol abuse
- Child neglect or abuse
- Chronic mental illness or disability